Shanghai-based street architecture practice 100 Architects has proposed a new leisure facility in Seoul in collaboration with Amsterdam-based playscape and engineering firm Carve – the firm behind the Canopy Park play area at Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport – and Urien (Seoul), along with landscape architect Walter Ryu.
The proposal comes following a competition launched by The Municipality of Seoul inviting design firms to put forward architectural solutions that would restore the 30-year-old public swimming pool in Jamsil Hangang Parbring to its former glory. Located on the banks of the Hang River, the brief on the project was to improve the existing facility not only by renovating the swimming pools themselves, but also seeking a solution that would reactivate the entire park as a public destination within the city of Seoul.
100 Architects along with their collaborative partners rose to the challenge by proposing the re-establishment of the natural landscape and fulfilling an entire urban regeneration, turning Hangang Park into a major urban and ecological landmark for the city of Seoul, to be used throughout the year.
The proposal unifies the pool complex with the surrounding cultural facilities. On the West, the Sagak Sagak Artistic Area, and on the East, the Botanical Learning Center. The plan connects these three facilities through a system of meandering interweaved pedestrian paths, allowing easy pedestrian accessibility among all of them, transforming the entire riverfront into a prominent public natural destination.
The joint proposal draws its inspiration from Taegeuk, the traditional and revered Korean symbol which can be found in the National Flag of South Korea. A perfect circle split into two halves – red and blue – it represents the balance in the universe.
“The search for this balance between nature and architecture, is the core of our design, translating the Taegeuk into a circular architectural object, a pedestrian walkway that encloses the main pool facility. This circular walkway is interrupted at the riverbank, hovering over the river, a belvedere allowing amazing views over the Hang River.” – 100 Architects
Curving upwards towards the highway, the elevated pedestrian walkway shields the pools from the traffic noise, and accommodates necessary indoor facilities under its roof at the same time. It flattens at the intersection with the riverfront promenade, in order to ease pedestrian connectivity; and finally, it protrudes over the riverbank, creating two walkable piers overlooking both, the river and the restored nature of the riverbank.
The undulating intertwined pedestrian paths create new opportunities and self-exploratory
public programmes – with the help of entertainment and leisure spaces within the park’s natural environment. Spaces for practicing a wide range of sports, resting areas, shading structures, and natural kids playscapes, resulting in a multifunctional park suitable for all kinds of ages.
All pools are designed in a sustainable way to naturally clean its water by using a helophyte filtering system with reeds planted around the pools. The treatment of cleaning the water is naturally done by bacteria living in the roots of the planted reeds.
See the full image gallery here:
Project name: Jamsil Hangang Park Natural Swimming Pools
Design: 100 Architects (Shanghai) + Carve (Amsterdam)
100 Architects’ team: Marcial Jesús, Javier González, Lara Broglio, Mónica Páez, Keith Gong, Cosima Jiang, Ponyo Zhao, Elena Michelutti.
Carve’s Team: Elger Blitz, Marleen Beek, Elke Krausmann, Susanna Vissani, Gaia Gleriani, Wilco Spruyt.
Local partner (Seoul): Walter Ryu (ASLA, RLA)
Korean Landscape Architects: Urien
Client: Seoul Metropolitan City, Hangang Project Headquarters
Size: 75,000 m²
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